List #5: POETRY
13 recent New Zealand Poetry books you might consider giving as gifts. Click through or come in to browse our full poetry section.
Ask us for our recommendations for your specific needs.
Hoard by Fleur Adcock $25
Images, moments, feelings, persons. Hoard acts as a great poetic sieve, scooped through Adcock's life in New Zealand and the UK, through her reading, dreams and relationships.
Flow: Whanganui river poems by Airini Beautrais $35
"This remarkable sequence winds and eddies like the Whanganui River, filtering the region's many histories into something rich and swimmable. Is verse the future of history?" - James Brown
The Internet of Things by Kate Camp $25
Camp is adept at the interrogation of quotidian objects, surprising them into revealing dimensions of themselves to which we have been blinded by familiarity. In this book Camp tickles the objects in Aunt Mimi's kitchen to catch unexpected reflections of John Lennon.
Collected Poems by Allen Curnow $60
"Simply by sailing in a new direction / You could enlarge the world." Curnow's 70-year career in the vanguard of New Zealand poetry involved the defining and redefining of poetic sensibilities, moving from an antipodean to an autochthonic focus.
>> Uniform with Terry Sturm's biography of Curnow (and also available as a slip-cased set).
Ginesthoi by Evangeline Riddiford Graham $20
Presented as a series of fragments, much in the manner of the scraps of text discovered by archeologists, these poems are partial unearthings of an emotional life as intent upon concealing itself as it is upon revealing. What are we make of these twists of words, half earnest, half mocking, leaping back and forth across millennia, overlapping past and present while simultaneously reinforcing and dissolving the distinction between the two?
>> Read Thomas's review.
Vanishing Points by Michele Leggott $28
"Vanishing Points concerns itself with appearance and disappearance as modes of memory, familial until we lose sight of that horizon line and must settle instead for a series of intersecting arcs. It is full of stories caught from the air and pictures made of words. It stands here and goes there, a real or an imagined place. If we can work out the navigation the rest will follow."
Some Things to Place in a Coffin by Bill Manhire $25
In the face of that of which the mind cannot conceive the senses speak with urgency, we experience simultaneously a grasping and a relinquishment, a change in contrast and in texture, if we may call them that, a new sense of purpose indistinguishable from resignation. In this book, Bill Manhire’s first collection in seven years, language dances as death presses at it from behind, agency flees into objects, images draw themselves together on the brink of their own dissolution, small things become final containers for the large. Wearing his art so lightly as at times to resemble artlessness, Manhire tests the strengths of finer and finer threads to very subtle effect. An excellent collection.
>>Read Thomas's review.
Tightrope by Selina Tusitala Marsh $28
Built around the abyss, the tightrope, and the trick that we all have to perform to walk across it, Pasifika 'poetry warrior' Selina Tusitala Marsh brings to life in Tightrope her ongoing dialogue with memory, life and death to find out whether stories really can cure the incurable.
>> This video of Marsh launching her previous collection, Dark Sparring, is worth watching again.
Fully Clothed and So Forgetful by Hannah Mettner $25
"This book will push you down a marble staircase, and then cheerfully bring you a couple of aspirin.' — Hera Lindsay Bird
A Tongue is Not for Lashing by Panni Palasti $25
A bilingual edition (English and Hungarian) volume of Palasti's poems, rich with the pains and pleasures of memory.
"I love the writing, the honesty of it, the search that is always there, the courage to face hard truths and at the same time imagine other lives with compassion." - Elizabeth Smither
Night Horse by Elizabeth Smither $25
"Elizabeth Smither's world is the people she knows, the places she visits, the animals she encounters. As they appear in her work they take on mysterious, sometimes surreal, qualities. Her imaginative world is charming and enchanted, peculiar, whimsical, and often very funny." - C. K. Stead
How can language contain the world that spills
From its torn rinds, how can my ode hold
On to language that ejects itself like birdsong
From pine trees still shady with dawn?
Five decades of word-and-brain work.
The Yield by Sue Wootton $25
Whether it is considering the relationship between medical institutions and individual suffering or the impact of climate change on personal creativity, Wootton's restless inventiveness liberates unexpected connections.
"A richly mulled book about suffering and empowerment." - Siobhan Harvey